For many hospitality enterprises, the kitchen is the heart of the business. If it is a great kitchen, offering good food safely and efficiently, then the business, be it a café, hotel, or restaurant, will flourish. A poorly maintained and failing kitchen can bring the entire enterprise down with it. Good service and a pleasant dining room experience will not make up for bad quality food, and kitchen inefficiencies can lead to excessive wait times that ruin even the best dining room ambience. Being the heart of the business, a great deal of success, or indeed failure, comes down to the design of the kitchen, and commercial kitchen design can be a complicated affair.
Many factors have to be balanced to produce a satisfactory and optimal design. This includes answering questions such as: Has the correct equipment been installed at the right location to ensure a smooth and efficient kitchen flow? Have potential “traffic jam” spots been identified and rectified in advance? Does the whole operation comply with Health and Safety legislation and will it satisfy the Environmental Health Officer? If it is a restaurant kitchen open to the view of the clientele, does it appeal to the eye? Above all, has the kitchen been achieved at a cost that has not upset the financial stability of the business? Have financial options such as Silver Chef been taken into consideration?
It is no surprise that many businesses faced with the task of creating a new commercial kitchen space turn to the services of a commercial kitchen consultant and designer. These specialist companies have both the experience avoid problems in advance as well as an up to date knowledge of current kitchen equipment technology and functionality. This means the design will include an optimised and efficient layout that has the right equipment for the flow and load of the hospitality industry.
Take, for example, the fundamental design of commercial kitchen and the construction of the plan. The do-it-yourself unskilled designer will seemingly have to use a ruler and graph paper and do his or her scale conversions with the aid of a calculator and pencil. With care, an accurate ground plan can be achieved, but a two-dimensional representation can only offer so much information.
Hiring a team of commercial kitchen consultant designers is the most constructive option. They will have access to the specialised software and will be able to construct a 3D CAD kitchen plan, with all the chosen equipment installed, that the customer can thoroughly inspect. This experience can be invaluable for spotting any areas that will inevitably be changed. It is much better to spot this during the design stage than be faced with them after the install.
Professionals are aware that the dual imperatives of functionality and compliance are constantly at work in any kitchen design, sometimes pulling in opposite directions. It may be convenient to have the washing facilities in one place, for instance, yet lawful to have them in another. Food storage and preparation areas have to be kept separate but must also have easy access from one to the other. The owner of the business must be concerned with ventilation, lighting, the provision of first aid equipment, and dozens of other things before he or she lets the chefs go into action. Here the expertise of the kitchen design professional will be of great use, as they will be able to advise the kitchen owner on the regulations and plans accordingly, achieving the best balance between the two contrasting needs.
The Brandon design team will also be able to advise a kitchen owner on the matter of equipment purchase. As has been mentioned, this includes knowing about the different technology solutions within the hospitality industry, but also includes understanding financial options that can greatly reduce the start-up cost.